MouseFlicks: Disney's Dominance Continues

In a turbulent year when the pandemic continued to upend the business of movie-going and streaming blockbusters at home became commonplace, one thing returned to normal: Disney topped the box office.

Disney was Hollywood’s top studio in North America last year with a 25% market share at the box office. That includes four of the top 10 films of the year domestically and three of the top five domestic openings of the year.

Even though in-person audiences were hard to come by last year, US moviegoers showed up for Disney films. That said, even though Disney won at the US ticket booth, its 2021 totals were a steep fall from its pre-pandemic box office levels.

The House of Mouse said it notched $2.9 billion at the global box office last year thanks to hits such as “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Black Widow” and “Jungle Cruise.” Nearly $3 billion worldwide is a solid total all things considered.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/07/media/disney-box-office-year-…

The Disney-Pixar movie Turning Red will not debut in theaters on Friday, March 11. Instead, it’s heading exclusively to Disney+ worldwide, a big subtraction to movie theaters that were looking to play this title and at a time when Omicron was looking to calm.

It’s the third Pixar movie to skip theaters and go straight to Disney+, after Soul and Luca. The international markets where Disney+ isn’t available, Turning Red will be released theatrically, with dates to be announced.

https://deadline.com/2022/01/turning-red-skips-theaters-disn…

Kadesha Adelakun bought toys from “Encanto” before she even had a chance to see the movie. She knew characters from a multiracial Afro-Latino family would be an important addition to her office in Kennesaw, Georgia, where she holds play therapy sessions and makes a point of finding toys that reflect the diversity of her young patients’ lives.

When she finally watched the movie on Disney+, Adelakun realized the figurines were an even better fit than she’d imagined. The plot of “Encanto,” she says, perfectly captures issues many families are going through. While catchy songs from “Encanto” are topping the charts, Disney’s latest animated film is drawing praise from therapists like Adelakun for another reason: the way the movie portrays trauma and healing.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/18/health/encanto-therapy-immigr…

Disney has taken one step closer to creating a virtual metaverse at Disneyland that would allow the entertainment giant to simulate a digital world with animated characters in a real-world theme park attraction.

The Walt Disney Company was granted a patent on Dec. 28 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for a Virtual World Simulator that enables multiple users to experience a 3D virtual world from multiple vantage points without any glasses, goggles or digital devices.

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/01/04/disney-patents-ar-with…

MouseTears

Kim Mi-soo, a South Korean actress who appeared in the Disney+ series “Snowdrop” has died at the age of 29. Kim’s death comes just weeks after “Snowdrop”-- a political drama set amid the 1987 democracy movement in South Korea – premiered on Disney+. No cause of death was given.

http://www.cnn.com/style/article/kim-mi-soo-dead-intl-scli/i…

French actor Gaspard Ulliel, best known for playing Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal Rising,” has died at the age of 37 after a skiing accident in southeastern France. His next on-screen appearance is set to be in the Marvel Disney+ series “Moon Knight,” scheduled for release in March 2022.

https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/19/entertainment/gaspard-ulliel-…

Yvette Mimieux, who found stardom in the early 1960s portraying delicate, fragile women in “The Time Machine,” “Where the Boys Are” and other films, died on Monday night at her home in Los Angeles. She was 80. Her Disney connection was playing Dr. Kate McCrae in the 1979 cult classic, The Black Hole.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/18/arts/yvette-mimieux-dead…

Mouse Hugs

Happy New Year! As we start 2022, we are grateful for the cast and community partners who helped us make a difference last year – with food and financial donations, gifts of books and toys for children in need, Disney VoluntEARS events and so much more.

Magic comes in all sizes, from simple acts of kindness to grand gestures of generosity. Today, I’m proud to share a few of our favorite magical moments of giving from the year.

https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2022/01/celebrating-a…

Fuskie
Who notes Disney Legend and founder of the Walt Disney Archives received a window on Main Street in Disneyland this week…


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The “Turning Red” D+ strategy is odd to me in a sense. I’m not saying I think we are out of the throes of the pandemic - and quite frankly, it is very difficult for me to think I myself will ever go to a theater again for a long, long time - but reality is reality and people are choosing to go to theaters, no matter what I think. Correct me if I am wrong, but take the case of the “Spider-Man” feature…families must be going out to see the film, right? I know a Pixar film would skew younger, but nevertheless, the Pixar audience has to be included in the “Spider-Man” audience, I just don’t see a movie whose domestic take is approaching “Avatar” not seeing overlap. So I can’t see the argument that this is something for families (which had been proffered prior in terms of the pandemic). Therefore, just release the film in theaters and give that window a go, maybe forty-five, fifty-five, sixty-five, whatever days, and then + the movie to increase subscribers. That’s your synergy. The linked article mentions “Raya’s” challenge…I know it’s possible Disney’s calculus may be that the time of the release period and the kind of movie “Red” is might not combine to make for suitable box-office returns once marketing is included, and I’m open to that argument, but I wonder too if maybe the movie isn’t as top-notch as other Pixar features? Who knows, of course. Either way, I’ll just go with this…after all, I am all for experimentation with windows and streaming.

Sorry to hear about Yvette Mimieux…I think she played the psychic crew memeber who had a link with the floating robot in “Black Hole.” That remains a classic film in my mind, and it is highly strange a remake/reboot has yet to be made. I could see the mad scientist character being turned into an Elon-Musk type who wants to venture into the singularity…or more likely, send others in his stead (as will be the case with Mars!) Heck, maybe get Musk to do a short cameo as the mysterious scientist…

I mentioned “Avatar” earlier…I happened to see that, and I forgot about this, the sequel is out this December, I thought it was 2023. That is cool news. DIS should be able to build on its current box-office success in 2021 this year and into next with the film, even if it is received in lukewarm manner (think “Phantom Menace” and that movie’s gross back in 1999). I just hope we get decent revenue from it, I think Cameron, and maybe some outside investors, will get a big bulk of it (Cameron obviously the most). That might be the challenge for DIS…how can it benefit from “Avatar” in the most synergistic fashion if not maximally from the top-line theatrical split…might take some innovation there (Chapek, now is the time to break out your vaunted data algorithms!)…

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